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PSP’s Kumaran Pillai: Contrast the $300 financial assistance given to elderly with what our mayors are getting

'We are a city-state, we don't need mayors, and this additional layer of administration,' he says

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“While the state thinks we should not be overindulging the poor and the marginalised, they think it is morally okay to pay obscene salaries to mayors who basically do zilch,” griped the Progress Singapore Party’s Kumaran Pillai.

In a Facebook post after a door-to-door visit at Sin Ming Estate, Mr Pillai again met some residents he previously handed out groceries to.

At Block 26, Mr Pillai wrote, an elderly gentleman said that he is getting $300 in financial assistance. The man said that this amount was “barely enough to get by”.

“He is not working and was thankful for the bag of groceries we gave him yesterday. It is pretty much a similar story with most residents there. They do not have enough to get by”, Mr Pillai added.

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Comparing the S$300 of financial assistance given to the elderly in need, Mr Pillai said: “We are a city-state, we don’t need mayors and this additional layer of administration.”

Speaking in Parliament on Wednesday (Feb 24), Leader of the Opposition Pritam Singh said that many Singaporeans feel that the salaries of Community Development Council (CDC) mayors are “outrageous”.

He added that this was mainly because they are not perceived to commensurate with the mayor’s roles and functions today. Mr Singh added that Singaporeans feel that the CDCs’ functions can be carried out by other existing entities, or by ministries and statutory boards, including other organisations under the People’s Association.

“Yet others simply don’t know what the CDCs do”, he said.

Mayors are paid an annual salary of S$660,000, according to the White Paper on Salaries for a Capable and Committed Government published in 2012. They also receive an annual MP allowance of S$192,500, not including bonuses.

“My point is, we don’t need to raise taxes to help the poor, just be more efficient… can?”, he added. /TISG

Read related: Are there no solutions and no answers to the dust menace at Kebun Baru?: Kumaran Pillai

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